Judging by my efforts in trying to get people to go to this gig, Destroyer is a bit of a Marmite thing; people love them or, erm, don’t get them!
Destroyer is the name of the band formed in 1995 by Canadian, Daniel Bejar, sometime member of The New Pornographers. Not being a fan of the power-pop of The New Pornographers I only discovered Destroyer when their Kaputt album was Pitchfork’s second favourite album of last year. I listened and must confess that at first I didn’t quite get it myself. It struck me as another 80′s revival record flirting with uncool genres such as jazz-lite and flowed along in a pleasantly languid fashion. One day I was giving it another try and listening to Suicide Demo For Kara Walker and it suddenly hit me, this is genius! It’s like Sade’s backing band fronted by a stream of consciousness Bob Dylan or something. I’m not sure what Bejar is quite on about but it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t half sound great…and deep and all that. I bought the album and it grew and grew on me; and growers are always the best albums in my book.
Another track that I quickly decided was a masterpiece was A Dangerous Woman Up To A Point from 2006′s Destroyer’s Rubies album and I quickly got hold of this record too. I can’t say I love all of it (a few tracks are a bit too ‘out there’) but three quarters of it is brilliant and that’s not a bad ratio.
As well as his fascinating, rambling lyrics and the mixing and twisting of genres what comes to the fore in Destroyer’s music is Bejar’s pop sensibilities and way with hooks. Listening to Dark Leaves Form A Thread from Trouble In Dreams I feel slightly guilty about how uplifted it makes me feel as I fear Bejar is singing from a pretty dark place.
For those open-minded souls unfamiliar with Destroyer this may well convert you, for those who already love Bejar’s music it could be one of the gigs of the year!